As usual, you have 10 questions to think about this month. These are questions to help you reflect about yourself, what you want from life and what can bring you more happiness.
You can see November’s questions here and December’s questions here.
- You are lucky; how so or not so?
It’s good to think of reasons why you’re lucky. Sometimes we don’t realise that there’s always a reason to consider ourselves lucky. You can read more about luck in my post Accept Your Luck.
- Where do you want to travel next?
This might help you plan your next holiday or adventure and motivate you to save money towards it.
- Are you holding a grudge? About?
If you are, it might be time to let go. Holding grudges causes harm only to yourself and no one else.
- What are you looking forward to?
Thinking about good things that are yet to come can brighten up your day and make you feel more cheerful about life.
- Do you need a break? From what?
Is it from your work? Get a day off. From your city? Go for a weekend away. From your partner? Go out with your friends or have some time alone. From life? Meditate, go for a walk around nature.
- Are you seeking security or adventure?
When you decide your priority, it’s easy to make decisions. Do I spend my money travelling or saving to buy a house?
- If you were going to start your own company, what would it be?
Maybe you don’t want to start your own business but answering this makes it easier to think about your passion and what you really want to work with.
- What makes “you” you?
Whatever makes “you” you shouldn’t be something that needs changed. Accept who you are and be around people who accept you.
- How do you describe home?
Home is where the heart is 🙂
- What do you want to forget?
Write all the details about this memory, talk or write about it for as long as you need one last time. Then let go.
Taken from the book Q&A a day – a 5 year journal.
“People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough. But that’s not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it.” – Eat Pray Love
I really love this quote because it explains the whole point that led me to research about happiness and consequently the reason why I have this blog. I think you need to fight for happiness and not just wait for it to fall into your lap. Sometimes that means you have to make changes. They might be big changes: quitting your job, getting a divorce, moving to another country , travelling the world. Or small changes: sleeping well, waking up earlier, taking up a course, going out more. But sometimes that fight for happiness doesn’t necessarily mean you have to actively do something. Sometimes the effort you have to make is to actually practise acceptance. Instead of fighting against your present situation, you have to accept it and make peace with it in order to find happiness.
I don’t think it’s a choice in the sense that you can just decide “I’m happy now” and you automatically become happy but I think it’s a choice to go after it.
I have been striving for happiness, reading about it, trying different things, making changes. And you might ask me: is it helping? Absolutely! I did go through a rough patch even though I was looking for happiness. I felt like giving up but I didn’t and now I’m finally reaping the rewards of my efforts. I believe that this is the meaning of the quote. You need to try hard to find happiness even if it’s not something you do consciously. Most people don’t wake up one day and think “I’m going on a search for happiness.” However, happy people have decided at some point in their lives consciously or unconsciously to go after what they want, to practise acceptance, to find contentment, etc. I believe it’s more difficult for some people than it is for others. That can happen for various reasons. Maybe your brain, your family or your circumstances don’t help but it is there for you to find. We can all get it if we try hard enough.
I used to feel down about every little thing that didn’t work out. I would get stressed and upset and sometimes even panic. Then I started to look back and I realized that some little things that upset me earlier in my life ended up being for the best. You never know what the future will bring and sometimes you can get more if things don’t go as expected.
“Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” – Dalai Lama
I have been trying to keep this in mind all the time and I don’t feel as stressed as I used to. Here are two examples of bad things that ended up being good:
1. Not getting a room
When I was in Cardiff, I had to find a place to stay and I decided to take this room. I sent an email to the guy but he didn’t see it and gave the room to someone else. I got really stressed at the time but it ended up being for the best. I decided to move from Cardiff and got a job as a teacher in Oxford which was what I wanted. If I had stayed in Cardiff, I’d probably still be working at a nightclub since there are not many teaching jobs there.
2. Being kicked out
Fate works in funny ways. My friend had to leave her house and had nowhere to go so she ended up going home to her grandpa’s house. She spent a few weeks with him before getting a job and finding another place. About one month after my friend left, her grandpa got really ill and after some time in hospital, he passed away. If my friend hadn’t been kicked out, she wouldn’t have spent those last few weeks with her grandpa. That time they spent together meant everything to her.
Now when I don’t get the job or the room or when I’m forced to move out or when something is cancelled, I always think: it might be for the best.
“You are part of this universe. You’re a constituent – you have every entitlement to participate in the actions of the universe, and to let your feelings be known. So put your opinion out there. Make your case. Believe me – it will at least be taken into consideration.” – Iva, Eat Pray Love
The meaning of this quote is that you are allowed to ask the universe for good things. It’s not selfish. You’re part of the universe so you have the right to be happy. You have the right to get what you want.
This idea made me think about something else that was stopping me from being happy.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling happy or being lucky. There was a moment in my life when I couldn’t see the good things I had. I looked at everyone else I knew and thought they were so lucky in some aspects of their lives. But everyone is lucky for some reason. I was lucky too but I couldn’t take advantage of it. I felt guilty, I thought it wasn’t fair that this thing was handed to me. I should get it on my own, with my own efforts. What I failed to notice at the time is that the situation was exactly the same for me and for these other people. Those people I knew were lucky for other reasons but they were not fighting it, they were accepting and taking advantage of it. Why couldn’t I do the same? Why did I feel that it was okay for them to do it but not for me?
If something is handed to you by the universe, accept it. You deserve it as much as anyone else.